Ahab (king)

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Ahab ( אַחְאָב, "Brother of the Father") was from about 871 to 852 BC. Since the death of his father Omri , king of the northern kingdom of Israel . Ahab married Jezebel , the daughter of the Phoenician king Etbaal of Sidon , probably for political reasons. The sons Ahaziah and Joram and the daughter Ataliah were born from the marriage.

Biblical tradition

In the area of ​​foreign policy, Israel experienced a heyday under Ahab. The relationship with the rich Phenicia brought economic advantages, such as the purchase of valuable ivory for Ahab's royal palace. There was also good relations with the Kingdom of Judah under Jehoshaphat , despite the religious differences, which were reinforced by a marriage alliance. First Ahab defeated Ben-Hadad II of Aram (Damascus) and then joined him in 853 BC. In the battle of Karkar on the Orontes to the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. opposite. However, it is said to have been around 852 BC. He was mortally wounded in another battle against the Arameans. In research, the corresponding narratives in the Bible ( 1 Kings 20  EU and 1 Kings 22  EU ) regarding Ahab are viewed as unlikely, as they were only introduced later as an anachronistic supplement. Some buildings in his capital Samaria and the so-called stables of Solomon in Megiddo go back to Ahab .

Like all members of the Omri dynasty, the Bible also sees Ahab as a godless king, not least because of his marriage to an "unbelieving" Phoenician woman. Ahab allowed his wife Jezebel to introduce the Baal cult in Israel and followers of Yahweh to be persecuted, whereupon the prophet Elijah proclaimed God's punishment on Mount Carmel . Through Ataliah, wife of Joram of Judah, Ahab was an ancestor of the later kings of Judah.

Assyrian sources

Ahab is usually equated with (A-ha-ab-bu) of KUR sir 3 -la-aa, the Shalmaneser III. mentioned on the Kurkh monolith . This was a member of an anti-Assyrian alliance consisting of twelve states, in which Adad-idri ( Hadadezer ) of Aram and Irhuleni of Hamath also fought. However, the identification of A-ha-ab-bu with Ahab is doubted by some researchers.


  • Herbert Donner : History of the people of Israel and its neighbors in outline, Part 2. From the time of kings to Alexander the great: With a look at the history of Judaism to Bar Kochba 3rd edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-51680-0 .
  • Georg Fohrer : Ahab . In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . Vol. 2. de Gruyter, Berlin 1978, pp. 123-125, ISBN 3-11-002218-4 .
  • Franz Jung : Oh yes. In: The Republic. Edited by Eva u. Uwe Nettelbeck. Salzhauser 1979, No. 41-47, pp. 1-8.
    • also in: Max Krell: The Development. Novellas at the time. Rowohlt, Berlin 1921.
  • Brad E. Kelle: What's in a name? Neo-Assyrian designations for the Northern Kingdom and their implications for Israelite history and Biblical interpretation. In: Journal of Biblical Literature. 2002, No. 121, ISSN  0021-9231 , pp. 639-666.
  • Thomas Wagner:  Ahab. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff.
  • J. Frederic McCurdy, Kaufmann KohlerAhab. In: Isidore Singer (Ed.): Jewish Encyclopedia . Funk and Wagnalls, New York 1901-1906.
  • Israel Finkelstein , Neil A. Silbermann: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2001 (dtv), ISBN 3-423-34151-3 .


  1. Hans Rechenmacher : Old Hebrew names, Münster 2012, p. 43.53.163.
  2. Indication of the reign with 871 to 852 BC After WiBiLex, is also called 869–850 BC. Chr. (Albright), 874-853 BC Chr. (Thiele), 873–852 BC BC (Galil), see list of the kings of Israel
  3. Herbert Donner: History of the People of Israel and its Neighbors in Basic Features, Part 2. P. 291-292.
  4. ^ Brad E. Kelle: What's in a name? , P. 642.
predecessor Office successor
Omri King of Israel
871–852 BC Chr.